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Cyber Italian is an Italian learning platform founded in 1997 by Mara Garau, who was at the time the Director of the Italian Language Program for the United Nations.
The website offers different learning options: self-study, 1:1 lessons, and tutoring. The aim is to give each student the opportunity to learn in the way that works best for them.
In this post, I’ll focus on self-study courses. They are available on three different levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
You can try the first lesson of each level for free and then decide if you’re going to buy the whole course (each course contains 20 lessons).
The lessons start with an Italian dialogue: you listen to it, read the transcript, and practice through different activities.
Many of those activities include written exercises about grammar, vocabulary, and listening comprehension. At the end of each lesson, there is also a section with more interactive exercises.
The interactive exercises include recording your voice, and they even require you to sing along, write a poem, cut paper drawings, etc.
What’s Wrong with Cyber Italian
The courses’ structure gives a very creative and engaging approach to Italian learning, but I think this is not enough to make Cyber Italian stand out among the wide variety of programs for learning Italian.
The first thing I’ve noticed when browsing the website is that the interface and the topics are a bit outdated, and this may influence the learning experience.
Also, there is a lot of focus on written exercises, while the speaking practice doesn’t have much space.
You have a lot of exercises where you have to fill in the words or write something based on the dialogue you’ve heard. There is also a lot of information about grammar rules, learning techniques, etc.
However, even though you get suggestions about the possible sentences you can create with the words you learn, there is no room for actively speaking.
You will surely learn new vocabulary and grammar rules and put them in context, but you won’t have the opportunity to practice your spoken Italian for real.
A Cyber Italian Alternative
Thin In Italian courses are a valid Cyber Italian alternative for improving your speaking skills and pronunciation.
The material completely focuses on Italy and Italian culture, with anecdotes, curiosities, news in Italian, and much more.
The audio course Ripeti con me relies on active speaking: in the lessons, you hear a native speaker pronouncing some sentences in Italian and have to repeat what you hear after a short time interval.
This approach, based on spaced repetition and active recall techniques, allows you to actively think of the information you’ve just heard.
In this way, you won’t just passively repeat random sentences but allow your brain to process the information you hear and stick it into your long-term memory.
Ripeti con me is an excellent program to improve your Italian fluency as you are always prompted to speak and have an active role in the learning process.
Learn more about Think In Italian courses.